Computing the favourite school subject for quarter of children

24% of children say learning to code graphics-heavy computer games is their favourite subject at school, finds Barclays survey

Computing is the favourite subject of nearly a quarter of British schoolchildren, according to research from Barclays.

The Barclays study found that 24% of schoolchildren consider computing their favourite subject , incorporating skills such as learning the code behind the latest generation of graphics-heavy games.

The survey also found that the highest-ranked subject for the children's parents in their schooldays was English (21%). 

However, the introduction of the new computing curriculum has left 30% of parents feeling they can’t help their children with computing homework; 40% said they ‘dread’ having to help with it.

As a result, students are asking other family members for help with homework, with 49% getting help from their siblings on the subjects that parents find the most challenging – computing and maths.

Of the parents surveyed, 41% feel they are being left behind by their children’s growing digital skills; 49% said they want the opportunity to learn more about coding and digital technology, citing the ability to help with homework as one reason.

Over three-quarters of parents (77%) said they believe it is important for children to learn coding skills.

Barclays recently launched a Digital Eagles programme. Digital Eagles are employees who help customers who come into Barclays branches and express an interest in its digital products, and also go into the community to help citizens get online and become digitally active. 

As part of the Digital Eagles initiative, the bank has unveiled Code Playground, a website that introduces children to basic programming skill.

The bank has also launched a Barclays Digital Driving Licence app, endorsed by City & Guilds and designed by Digital Eagles and digital partners such as Microsoft and IBM. The app's 10 modules are designed to help the public become more digitally savvy.  

Steven Roberts, strategic rransformation director at Barclays, said: “The purpose of our Digital Eagles is simple – to work in local communities to give people the opportunity to learn and embrace digital skills, from sending an email, Skyping family or learning how to bank online. Since 2013, more than 12,000 Digital Eagles have helped thousands people of all ages to get more out of being online, but we don’t want to stop there.

“In 2015, we’re now expanding that support to include coding either online or in-branch, so whether you’re seven or 107, you can take advantage of the opportunity to learn the emerging language of the new digital economy. We want to make sure we leave no one behind as we transform Barclays into a truly digital business.” 

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